The Munster Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program has been presented to Munster students for over thirty years. The police department recently honored this semester’s approximately 275 D.A.R.E. graduates at Eads Elementary School, Elliott Elementary School, and Frank Hammond Elementary School by visiting each of the fifth graders’ homes to drop off their D.A.R.E. t-shirt, certificate, and other items in recognition of their completion of the D.A.R.E. Program this year and their commitment to stay drug-free.
In addition, several students were honored with special D.A.R.E. awards which were also delivered to the students’ homes by the police department. Twenty-four students received D.A.R.E. Essay Awards for writing the top essays which were submitted to the Munster Police Department by e-mail throughout April. One boy and one girl from each of the schools were presented with the Daren Award, which recognizes outstanding participation and behavior during the D.A.R.E. classes. One student from each of the schools also won a stuffed Daren the Lion (the D.A.R.E. Program mascot).
The D.A.R.E. Essay Award winners included McKenna Willis, Saatvik Punukollu, Irene Venetis, Tristan Casiano, Ava Irby, Raanya Rai, Besiana Burrell, Deni Staehly, Ally Compton, Danny Bevil, Leona Velasquez-Noel, Elena Dovellos, Abigail Blue, Aleksandar Dimitrijevic, Eshal Rafiq, Leah Selin, Peter Mihaljevic, Kenley Smith, Priyanka Tallamraju, Ayesha Jawad, Makylah Chatman, Wesaal Wardak, Ellie Gelarden, and Alec Gruber.
The Daren Award winners included Luka Lettow, Caroline Wendlinger, Paige Polewski, Ethan Gorny, Will Dolson, and Elena Poposki. Daren the Lion stuffed animals were randomly awarded to Brooklyn Harris, Ben Carroll, and Kimber DePalmo.
The Munster Police Department would like to congratulate all this year’s D.A.R.E. graduates and award winners. We would also like to thank the many community organizations and businesses who continue to sponsor and support this important safety program each year.